30+ Best Atticus Finch Quotes About Justice, Courage, Family, and EqualityJul 27, 2021 11:13 PM Atticus Finch Quotes - Photo by imdb.com
Tripboba.com - Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird follows lawyer Atticus Finch’s defense of a wrongfully convicted Black man in Depression Era Alabama. He has since become one of the most iconic literary heroes of the 20th century for his courage and integrity.
Be inspired by his persona with our collection of Atticus Finch quotes down below. In this segment, Tripboba has compiled a list of the best, most influential Atticus Finch quotes still relatable to this day.
So, keep the ball rolling and pick your favorite lines now!
Quotes from Atticus Finch
- "This time we aren't fighting the Yankees, we're fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they're still our friends and this is still our home." (9.27)
- "Scout," said Atticus, "when summer comes you'll have to keep your head about far worse things... it's not fair for you and Jem, I know that, but sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down—well, all I can say is, when you and Jem are grown, maybe you'll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn't let you down." (11.53)
- "Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell's shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there. You understand?" (23.15)
- That was the one thing that made me think, well, this may be the shadow of a beginning. That jury took a few hours. An inevitable verdict, maybe, but usually it takes ‘em just a few minutes.
- Atticus Finch quotes you never really understand a person
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
Atticus Finch quotes on justice and judgement
- "Atticus says cheatin' a colored man is ten times worse than cheatin' a white man... Says it's the worst thing you can do." (Chapter 20)
- "I guess it's to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom's. Besides... I doubt if we'd ever get a complete case tried--the ladies'd be interrupting to ask questions." (Chapter 23)
- "... nobody's hushing this up. I don't live that way... I don't want my boy starting out with something like this over his head. Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open... I don't want him growing up with a whisper about him, I don't want anybody saying, 'Jem Finch, his daddy paid a mint to get him out of that..." (Chapter 30)
- “Our courts have our faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.”
- "She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, but I cannot pity her: she is white. She knew full well the enormity of her offense, but because her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking, she persisted in breaking it." (20.43)
- "I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system—that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty." (20.51-52)
- “Atticus was saying, "With people like us—that's our share of the bill. We generally get the juries we deserve. Our stout Maycomb citizens aren't interested, in the first place. In the second place, they're afraid. [..] Well, what if—say, Mr. Link Deas had to decide the amount of damages to award, say, Miss Maudie, when Miss Rachel ran over her with a car. Link wouldn't like the thought of losing either lady's business at his store, would he? So he tells Judge Taylor that he can't serve on the jury because he doesn't have anybody to keep store for him while he's gone. So Judge Taylor excuses him. Sometimes he excuses him wrathfully." (23.46-49)
Atticus Finch quotes about courage and fear
- “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
- “It's not time to worry yet.”
- “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
- "Courage is... when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."
- “Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine, I guess. You might hear some ugly talk about it at school, but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat.”
- "Serving on a jury forces a man to make up his mind and declare himself about something. Men don't like to do that. Sometimes it's unpleasant." (23.47-52)
Atticus Finch parenting quotes
- “When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em.”
- “Atticus's voice was even: "Alexandra, Calpurnia's not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn't have got along without her all these years. She's a faithful member of this family and you'll simply have to accept things the way they are." (14.28)
- "Heck," Atticus's back was turned. "If this thing's hushed up it'll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I've tried to raise him. Sometimes I think I'm a total failure as a parent, but I'm all they've got. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him... if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn't meet his eye, and the day I can't do that I'll know I've lost him. I don't want to lose him and Scout, because they're all I've got." (30.37)
- "Son, I have no doubt that you've been annoyed by your contemporaries about me lawing for n******, as you say, but to do something like this to a sick old lady is inexcusable. I strongly advise you to go down and have a talk with Mrs. Dubose," said Atticus. "Come straight home afterward." (11.43)
Atticus Finch quotes about equality
- "You know the truth, and the truth is this: some N****es lie, some N****es are immoral, some N**** men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire." (20.48)
- "I do. I guess it's to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom's. Besides," Atticus grinned, "I doubt if we'd ever get a complete case tried—the ladies'd be interrupting to ask questions."
- "Scout," said Atticus, "n*****-lover is just one of those terms that don't mean anything—like snot-nose. It's hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody's favoring N****es over and above themselves. It's slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody."
- "I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody... I'm hard put, sometimes—baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you." (11.107-109)
- "She was white, and she tempted a N****. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young N**** man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards." (20.44-45)
- [Atticus says] "As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash." Atticus was speaking so quietly his last word crashed on our ears. I looked up, and his face was vehement. "There's nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who'll take advantage of a N****'s ignorance. Don't fool yourselves—it's all adding up and one of these days we're going to pay the bill for it. I hope it's not in you children's time." (23.40)
- "There's something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn't be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins. They're ugly, but those are the facts of life. […]
- "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box." (23.38-40)
- “To Maycomb, Tom's death was typical. Typical of a n***** to cut and run. Typical of a n*****'s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw. Funny thing, Atticus Finch might've got him off scot free, but wait-? Hell no. You know how they are. Easy come, easy go. Just shows you, that Robinson boy was legally married, they say he kept himself clean, went to church and all that, but when it comes down to the line the veneer's mighty thin. N***** always comes out in 'em.” (25.25)
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